Haptic interfaces enable man-machine communication through touch by applying forces, vibrations, and motion in response to user movements.

Haptic systems have traditionally been exploited for interaction with virtual objects and tele-operation. More recently, they have been used in a wide range of new applications such as robot-assisted surgery, biomedicine, simulation and training, rehabilitation, exploration of hazardous or remote environments, manufacturing, design, mobile computing, education, games, and entertainment.

Beginning fall 2009, the MCS lab benefits from a Novint Falcon haptic interface (Fig. 1). With this first interface, we are devoted to understand and develop the principles and tools needed to perform advanced robotic and human-machine systems capable of haptic interaction.

Fig. 1. Falcon haptic interface by Novint Technologies.

The first themes explored are the traditional ones: interaction with virtual objects and tele-operation. Using C++ and Java 3D, we have designed a set of virtual objects with virtual texture. Tele-operation of a robotic arm has also been successfully performed with the same device (Video).

The next themes to be studied are industrial machine training and factory simulation.

Contact: Javier Aguilera, Diego Mercado, Jaime García and Ramiro Velázquez